Dear Colleagues: It’s Okay to Take a Summer Vacation


My AAUP chapter President asked us faculty to post what we’re doing this summer. This came in response to a silly message from a book rep suggesting we’re spending our entire summers lounging on the beach.

Some of my colleagues wrote about the myriad projects they’re working on in order to bust the myth that we’re all a bunch of beach bums.

I’ve hesitated to do the same, even though I have some work-related projects I’m working on over the summer (see below).  My first reaction to my colleagues’ posts was, OMG, I’m not doing enough!

Then I asked myself, isn’t it counterproductive to tell taxpayers that we’re willing to bust our butts even when we’re not getting paid to do it? (We’re on ten month contracts, so the only ones who get additional pay are those who teach summer school)

I was reassured by Prof Hacker has a column suggesting that making time for fun can help us be more productive.

So, I’m giving some advice to my colleagues:  give yourself permission to have at least some fun this summer.

Here’s what I’ve been doing so far:

Took a bike trip to Provence, where I ate some great food, drank some awesome wine, and climbed Mont Ventoux. Here’s a picture of me and my husband at the summit:


Done two triathlons, and have two more coming up.

Trained for said triathlons

Started taking a yoga teacher training class (one of my explorations of alternative careers post-retirement)

Gone  stand-up paddle boarding

Grown some veggies in my garden

Read  a bunch of books, some of them work related, some of them just for fun

And, of course, done a fair amount of knitting!

Along the way,  I have written a couple of book reviews, reviewed some manuscripts, and am working on revising a paper a gave last fall for publication. At some point I’ll start thinking about Fall classes.

But mostly I’m enjoying the summer as much as I can while it lasts. I have one last trip to Maine to visit my family, and I’M NOT TAKING ANY WORK WITH ME!  I’m not going to regret it. I can’t imagine myself sitting at my desk in February wishing I’d spent more time working in the summer.

So, readers, what are you up to this summer?



4 thoughts on “Dear Colleagues: It’s Okay to Take a Summer Vacation

  1. I’m wrapping up a summer online course which was a bit more work than I really wanted to add into my summer. I have had a week-long trip with my sister and my youngest daughter, a few days away with my husband and our youngest and a week’s vacation ahead with my whole family. I’ve done too little stitching, too little recreational reading and too much dog-walking. Oh, and lots of time at the gym.

    And I still feel guilty for all the writing that I haven’t completed. Ugh.

  2. Glad to see you getting both some work in, and enjoying some respite. While some of the 12 month folks, like myself (ugh… an administrator!), are jealous a bit of your “time off” we also know you have to prepare for classes, continue research and have to be self-disciplined to do that… during the summer, evenings, weekends, holidays… etc. Some folks will always be insensitive to others… or just idiots… but those who work in education… we know. Have fun in Maine!

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